Holiday and Meat-Free: Festive, Creamy Mushroom Lovers Pasta
Serves 4 as entrée, 6-8 as appetizer
Mix two varieties of mushrooms with kale in a creamy sauce and serve over pasta topped with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for a simply sensational vegetarian-friendly meal.
- 1 small pouch dried porcini mushrooms (a handful)
- 2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 package or about 3/4 pound crimini mushrooms (10 ounces), wiped clean, then thinly sliced
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 bundle Tuscan kale, stemmed and shredded or chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
- 1 pound farro or whole grain short-cut pasta, such as strozzopretti, gemelli or penne
- Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- Heat the dried mushrooms in the stock to reconstitute them, then puree in a food processor. In a saucepot, combine the porcini puree with the whole milk and cream and bring to a bubble. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the sauce thicken to coat a spoon.
- When the sauce begins to thicken up, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
- Meanwhile, heat the EVOO, three turns of the pan, in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and brown for 12-15 minutes. Add the shallots and garlic, stir for 2-3 minutes more, then wilt in the kale and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste.
- Salt the boiling water and cook the pasta to al dente. Toss the pasta with the thickened mushroom sauce and mushroom-kale mixture. Serve immediately in shallow bowls topped with cheese.